The Bachelor of Science in Music Production & Recording Arts degree is designed for students who wish to study the intersection of music, technology, and liberal arts. This includes songwriting, composing music for film and video games, audio engineering, postproduction, music business, and performing in commercial music genres. The degree program prepares students for a wide variety of careers in the music industry, graduate studies in music technology, or related fields. Students work closely with experienced faculty who are established composers, recording engineers, producers, performing musicians, and music scholars. The curriculum creates a solid foundation in both musicianship and technology, with courses such as music theory, aural skills, applied instrument/voice lessons, performance ensembles, the physics of sound, introduction to music technology, critical listening, studio techniques, music business, and postproduction. Students then build upon these experiences by selecting a concentration that best suits their interests and career goals: (1) Recording Arts, emphasizing live sound production, audio engineering, mixing, etc.; and (2) Music Production, emphasizing songwriting, arranging, music composition, performance in commercial music genres, producing, etc.
Because of the nature of the discipline, the program actively engages students in activities in which knowledge is acquired by doing, by problem solving, by investigating and by applying. Students develop skills in critical thinking and critical listening. They engage with one another and work closely with faculty artists, engineers, and mentors in a variety of professional roles, including producer, recording engineer, mix engineer, musician, and business agent, experiencing all facets of the music production process while building a portfolio of representative projects showcasing skills in each area. Opportunities abound within the department to gain engineering, production, songwriting and performance experience working with various performing groups such as the Electric Ensemble (rock/pop), Techtronica (electronic dance/techno), élan (vocal jazz), Jazz Ensemble, and the Fire of the Carolinas (marching band), as well as classical ensembles such as Orchestra, Phoenix Winds (wind ensemble, Chorale, and Camerata. Students gain additional real-world experience and build relationships with professionals in the industry through internships at recording studios, mastering facilities, radio stations, theaters, church music ministries, record labels, live sound companies, music software design companies, and more.
The overall philosophy of the Music Production & Recording Arts degree program brings together the rich historical, aesthetic, and theoretical foundations of Classical music with the stylistic and technological implications of modern commercial music production and performance, preparing talented students to be competitive in the market place of the 21st Century, whether it be engaging in a music industry career after graduation or being placed in any of the nation’s top graduate programs in commercial music, music business and/or music technology.
View videos featuring performances by students in the Music Production & Recording Arts program, both covers and original songs:
Learn more about the Elon University Department of Music in the following video series:
This year Elon University built a new facility at Arts West for the Music Production & Recording Arts program. The new building includes two recording studios, a large live room for recording, rehearsing and live music production practice, as well as a music technology computer lab, classroom, faculty offices, and practice rooms. The building is adjacent to the new Scott Studios for Performing Arts and the Art Department.
Studio A features a Pro Tools HDX system with an Avid D-Command ES 24 mixing console. The system includes world-class Focusrite RedNet, SSL, Vintech (Neve 1073), Chandler (Abbey Road/EMI) mic preamps for 32 premium input channels. We use Genelec speakers as our primary nearfield monitors, with Behringer C50A cubes filling the classic Auratone role.
The studio also features world-class compressors such as the UA 1176 and ADL 1500 which is a replica of the classic Teletronix LA2A, but with two channels. We also have a Moog Voyager Rackmount Synth for creating great classic analog patches.
We use a set of Switchcraft TT patchbays for routing signal from the various tracking spaces, isolation booth, and through any outboard gear and monitor routing options.
Studio B features a Pro Tools HD Native system, with Focusrite RedNet, Avid HD Omni, and Universal Audio mic preamps and a 24 channel Euphonix mix surface, with Genelec reference monitors. The studio also has a medium-size tracking room and connects to Studio C, the large recording and rehearsal room.
The mic locker contains a wide array of condenser, dynamic, and ribbon mics ranging from common work-horseslike the Shure SM57 to premium mics such as the Neumann U87.
The department also has a fully equipped music technology lab featuring full size, 88-key semi-weighted MIDI keyboard controllers, and a sound isolation booth. The lab also houses 18 27" iMac digital audio workstations with a second 22-inch flat-panel monitor, Focusrite Scarlett 2i2 audio interfaces/mic preamps and ShuttlePro. The stations run Pro Tools, Logic Express, Sibelius, GarageBand, Studio One, Ableton Live, Auralia and other software tools relating to audio production, ear training and music theory.
The Department of Music is housed in the Center for the Arts, a 75,000-square-foot facility boasting numerous concert Steinway grand pianos; McCrary Theatre, a large, fully equipped theatre and concert hall; Yeager Recital Hall; and modular practice rooms and studios. Historic Whitley Auditorium houses a new Casavant pipe organ and a Steinway grand piano.
For photographs and more information, visit the Facilities portion of our website under "Prospective Students."
The Music Production & Recording Arts program also partners with the School of Communications, giving students access to additional recording and production facilities.
For information on the University's General Studies requirements, visit the General Studies home page.
A degree in Music Production & Recording Arts can prepare you for a variety of careers that combine the art of music with the application of technology. Examples of careers include:
By combining a major in Music Production & Recording Arts with a minor or double-major in another field like Communications, Business, Computer Science, Arts Administration or graduate programs in Business Administration, Law, and Interactive Media, an even wider range of career possibilities are available, such as:
An important aspect of a musician's training is live performance. Elon's Music Department offers a variety of ensembles ranging from classical to commercial music. These performing groups give students the opportunity to put into practice their instrumental, vocal, and songwriting skills learned in private lessons and also learn other crucial aspects of music production. The ensembles include:
Elon University Orchestra
Phoenix Winds (wind ensemble)
Fire of the Carolinas (marching band)
Camerata (auditioned chamber choir)
élan (vocal jazz & a cappella)
Elon Music Ambassadors (eclectic styles)
World Percussion Ensemble
String Chamber Ensembles
The MPRA program provides a wide range of internship experiences through partnerships with media companies, recording studios, record labels, production companies, live sound companies, music publishers, performance venues, and other music industry organizations. The internship opportunities give students valuable work experience and allow them to build lasting professional relationships and meaningful contacts within the industry. A sample of past MPRA internships include:
The Department of Music faculty combine a passion for teaching with a vast range of composing, performing, teaching, production, and audio engineering experience. Below are some of the faculty and staff members that work most closely with majors in the Music Production & Recording Arts program.
TODD COLEMAN is the Coordinator of Music Production & Recording Arts at Elon University. He is a composer and bass player (contra bass and bass guitar). His music has been performed by the Minnesota Orchestra, Buffalo Philharmonic Orchestra, Civic Orchestra of Chicago and university ensembles throughout the United States, with commissions for orchestra, wind ensemble, chamber music and electronic music. He earned his M.M. and D.M.A. in composition at the Eastman School of Music studying with Joseph Schwantner, Christopher Rouse and Augusta Read Thomas. Much of Coleman’s creative work blurs the boundaries between artistic disciplines, exploiting the intersection of technology and the arts. He recently completed a five-year term on the Board of Advisors for the Barlow Endowment for Music Composition.
FRED JOHNSON has enjoyed an audio career covering many areas. He has worked in live sound reinforcement and recording for concerts and theater, broadcast for radio and television, audio consulting, video editing, animation production and church sound design. His specialties are the genres of classical and jazz, with his research interests being microphone technique. He earned a BS in Music and a MS in Recording Arts from the University of Colorado-Denver and served on their faculty from 2008-16, teaching classes in Audio Production, Critical Listening and Surround Sound. He has worked with the Colorado Symphony, the Takacs String Quartet, Dave and Don Grusin, the Colorado Music Festival, Christopher O’Riley, the Boulder Bach Festival, the International Trombone Society and many others. His work has been heard on NPR’s Performance Today and several television networks. He has also produced audio/video projects with groups in France, Lithuania and Senegal.
CLAY STEVENSON is a songwriter, composer, audio engineer, and producer specializing in pop, pop/rock, and electronic music. His music has gained notoriety in feature films including Escapee (Voltage Pictures) and Standing Ovation (Kenilworth Film Productions). Additionally, while in Los Angeles, Stevenson worked for a number of years in commercial music, extensively with Vision Film and Television Productions composing and designing sound for commercials and corporate videos. Under the producer name daade, he has collaborated with such artists as DACAV5, El Prezidino, TRev, M:O.R., NPA, and T3. As daade, Stevenson also presented music in the iStandard Producer's Showcase at the ASCAP Expo. Currently, he is writing and composing for Cobel Music and two music production libraries, K.A.P. Music and NOMA Music. Stevenson has recently designed an innovative course in the study and production of musical mashups. The course encourages creative art expression through the use of music software to edit and manipulate existing music.
RICK EARL (live sound, technical director for cultural programs) worked as a live sound engineer for many national touring acts during the 1980's and 90's mixing monitors and front of house. Rick joined the Elon University staff in 2006 as Technical Director of Cultural & Special Programs. He works closely as a mentor with Music Production & Recording Arts majors interested in audio engineering and live sound production, sharing his years of experience one-on-one and in small group settings, including supervising live sound student work-study staff.
STEPHEN FUTRELL (choral, trumpet, arranging) has appeared throughout the United States and Europe as a vocalist, trumpeter, writer, arranger, producer and on-screen talent. His experience includes being a featured vocalist at Carnegie Hall and Lincoln Center, as well as serving as a music producer for DreamWorks Animation SKG. He also recently discovered, edited and had published three choral works by Anna Amalia von Sachsen. Dr. Futrell is the Director of Choral Activities at Elon and conducts the department's a cappella vocal jazz/pop ensemble élan.
This page was updated Aug. 29, 2015.